‘Ravana’s airports’, ‘Modi waves’ leave science congress stunned
NEW DELHI/ JALANDHAR: Two lectures at the Indian Science Congress in which scientists, including the vice-chancellor of a state university, made claims about achievements of ancient Indians have created a new controversy. These claims have highlighted a fundamental problem for the congress: in the past few years, what had once been a gathering of the country’s most reputed scientific minds has become a platform for numerous such statements based on mythology.
On Friday, Andhra University vice-chancellor G Nageswara Rao, a professor of inorganic chemistry, claimed that Kauravas from the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata were born using stem cell technology and that Ravana from the Ramayana had 24 types of aircraft and that Sri Lanka at that time had airports. Rao then explained evolution and human civilization while talking about the Dasavatara or 10 incarnations of Vishnu. He said this at a session which included children in the audience.
At the same session, K J Krishnan, a scientist at a centre in Tamil Nadu, claimed that the theories of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were wrong and would be disproved. He said gravitational waves would soon be renamed as ‘Narendra Modi waves’, while the gravitational lensing effect in physics would be renamed as ‘Harsh Vardhan effect’. He went on to claim that electricity and magnetism were the same phenomena.
上周五，安得拉邦大学副校长、无机化学教授G Nageswara Rao声称，印度神话史诗《摩诃婆罗多》中的俱卢族就是通过干细胞技术诞生的，《罗摩衍那》中的Ravana有24种飞机，当时斯里兰卡也有机场。Rao接着谈到了进化论和人类文明，同时谈及毗瑟奴的十种化身。他是在一个有儿童参加的会议上说这番话的。
This was not the first time that the congress has witnessed such claims. In the Mumbai session in January 2015, Anand J Bodas, principal of a pilot training school in Kerala and Ameya Jadhav, lecturer at a Mumbai junior college, presented a paper within a symposium titled ‘Ancient Sciences Through Sanskrit’. Bodas and Jadhav claimed that ancient Indians had invented aircraft that could fly in multiple directions and had even reached other planets. They cited as reference a text known as the ‘Vaimanika Shastra’, which has descriptions and some diagrams of what have been claimed to be ancient aircraft. The text, claimed to have been written by the Vedic sage Bharadwaja is, however, dated to 1904 and scientists earlier had concluded that the designs in it were unrealistic and such aircraft could not have achieved flight. Prior to the congress, noted scientists had objected to the paper being presented because of its pseudo-scientific nature.
At the same symposium, other papers were presented on ‘Engineering applications of ancient Indian botany’,‘Neuro-science of yoga’ and ‘Advances in surgery in Ancient India’, all of which claimed ancient Indians had made fantastic inventions predating ideas in the West in the Early Modern period. Addressing delegates at the session, Union science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan claimed that ancient Indian mathematicians had discovered the Pythagoras theorem “but very gracefully allowed the Greeks to take the credit”.
At the 105th Indian Science Congress at Imphal in March 2018, Vardhan had claimed that the late British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking had stated that the Vedas contained a “theory superior to that of Einstein’s e equals mc squared equation”.
在2018年3月于印帕尔举行的第105届印度科学大会上，瓦尔丹声称，已故的英国天体物理学家斯蒂芬•霍金曾表示，《吠陀》里就有“比爱因斯坦的e = mc平方方程更先进的理论”。
Mainstream scientists have expressed displeasure over these claims. Regarding the latest lecture by the Andhra University VC, the Indian Science Congress Association has expressed shock. “I feel very sad about the type of things he presented before the children. I had told our team to keep a check and that nothing unscientific should be spoken about from the stage. It is shocking when a person of the stature of a state university VC speaks like this,” said ISCA general president Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti, a biologist.
“All the abstracts of the papers to be presented at the sessions were scrutinised properly. The research papers were all above board and had no unscientific claims. However Rao came just for a talk at the Children’s Congress. The speech was not vetted as it must have been assumed that a vice-chancellor could give an inspiring talk to the children. I will now have to check how Rao got invited to give the lecture and whether there was a hint of what the contents of it would be,” Chakrabarti added.
主流科学家对这些说法表达了不满。对于安得拉邦大学副校长最近发表的演讲，印度科学大会协会表示震惊。“我对他在孩子们面前展示的东西感到非常难过。我告诉我们的团队要谨慎，不能在台上说任何不符合科学的东西。国立大学的副校长这样有声望的人居然说出这样的话，真是令人震惊。”ISCA主席，生物学家Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti说道。
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ISCA general secretary Premendu P Mathur said, “Science is based on citation, logical explanation and experimentation. Had I been there, I would have questioned him about it. One should have asked him for evidence.”
However, on Saturday Rao stood by his claims. “Ramayana and Mahabharata are not mythology, but history. Because we don’t understand it today, we can’t say that it’s not science,” he told TOI over the phone.
“I stated that now test tube baby and stem cell technology are known and probably Kauravas were born through a similar mechanism. I am relating present-day science with what happened during the Mahabharata period. Otherwise how could there be 100 sons from a single mother. About Ravana, if he had aircraft there must have been infrastructure and fuel for it,” Rao added.
ISCA秘书长Premendu P Mathur说:“科学是建立在引证、逻辑解释和实验的基础上的。如果我当时在场，我肯定会向他提问。应该有人让他给出证据的。”
Such claims have led to noted scientists staying away from sessions of the congress in the past. In 2016, Indian-born Nobel laureate V Ramakrishnan, a biologist at Cambridge University, had objected to religious ideas being mixed with science. “I attended the congress once and very little science was discussed. I will never attend it again. The idea that Indians had aircraft 2000 years ago sounds almost essentially impossible to me.
paarth d - 5 days ago -Follow
Awesome to see the progress in Indian scientific temper thanks to the efforts of the BJP and the RSS. They forgot to mention that the cows could talk those days and recite the vedas too. In fact Valmiki when he wrote the Ramayan it was dictated by a cow. He just had to interpret the moos with the different intonations.
Subramaniam Panchacharam - 5 days ago -Follow
Vet the papers before allowing these fools to present them. They will make India a laughing stock.
Mike - Mumbai - 5 days ago
Yes ancient India had made great strides in mathematics and science but to claim achievements on the basis of mythlogy is plain and simple ludicrous.
Our honourable Union science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan is also the product of stem cell science , only unfortunately they forgot to add brains to the stem cells. We sure know how to make ourselves the laughing stock in the world
Hum - Thane - 5 days ago -Follow
Is this some sort of Joke??
Are they Scientists or Kapil Sharma disguised as a scientist..
Anup Sinha - 5 days ago -Follow
Now its time for aliens to visit India again.
Duck Good - Canada - 5 days ago -Follow
OMG this is India? Dark ages are here again.. Modi ji keep building more temples I think Indians will be sitting on their rear ends for ever... China is on the moon, US is talking about building colonies on Mars ... But Modi with 8th grade education is supporting these geniuses..
Duck Good - Canada - 5 days ago -Follow
The whole world is laughing at us... God save us from these ignorant geniuses... I don''t know what to say? I can''t stop laughing... This must April fools Joke... Is it?
Rakesh Ranjan - 5 days ago -Follow
Indians first invented aircraft but fact was suppressed to show write brother invented it. We should change the mentallty of ourselves that we did not do anything. We were fountain head of knowledge which was burnt out at Nalanda by Khilji.
shiv - rajkot - 5 days ago
Why we have to go purchase Rafale? If BJP ruled for fifty years more with Modi, Shah, Jaeitly at the helm of affairs, we can really go back to those golden times again.
Raj D - 5 days ago -Follow
Darwin’s theory is a “THEORY”, Big Bang theory is a “THEORY”, They are not facts or laws proven but only a theory. I’m not blindly supporting or rejecting the statements made but if someone wants put a theory across based on some research why would you bluntly shame them??? Even great philosophers were punished by the church and looks like now the so called liberals and intellectuals want to shame free thinkers.
PACK MAN - 5 days ago -Follow
It is now confirmed that monkeys and gorillas are ruling us
Kumar - 5 days ago -Follow
Earlier it was "white people are so great, we brown boys are so stupid". Now some people says it may not be true. What a shame this science Congress has become
Manish - 5 days ago -Follow
if they had aircraft during the Ramayana time, why didn't they continue building more aircrafts? They forgot the art to built ? why are we importing it from Airbus and Boeing?
Duck Good - Canada - 5 days ago -Follow
Funny part is India''s Prime Minister is sitting in the front row smiling. OMG Modi Ji you need a gold medal for just sitting with these ignorant, not a bright Prime Minister at all.
Amir Saghir - 5 days ago -Follow
In BJP era monkeys are taking. Isn't it a great achievement.
Mukesh - 5 days ago -Follow
Unless this country drops this stupid idea of being religious, unless this country drops the rotten culture that it has carried for centuries, which is only a corpse. It is stinking, but they go on carrying it because it is so ancient; it is their past, their ''heritage''. This country has to cut itself off from its past totally, abruptly; a discontinuity is needed. Only then will India be reborn.'' -Osho (1931-1990)
除非这个国家放弃这种愚蠢的宗教观念，除非这个国家放弃几个世纪以来传承的腐朽文化，这就是一具尸体。尸体很臭，但是他们还是要继续带着往前走，因为它很古老；这是他们的过去，他们的“遗产”。这个国家必须完全切断与过去的联系；必须截断开。只有这样，印度才能重生。奥修(1931 - 1990)
bornagain100 - 5 days ago -Follow
This kind of stupidity beings a bad name to Hinduism.
Mathew Ag - 5 days ago -Follow
Spending public money to make such STUPID statements which cross every limit of DREAMING in broad daylight. Had this money been invested into funding student projects, better outcomes woud have come.
Avinash BS - Mysore, Karnataka - 5 days ago -Follow
I am wondering why Nityananda was not made president of of this science Congress.
Iffi J - 5 days ago -Follow
If there was a Nobel prize for presenting poor jokes these jokers would be on the lists.
Jainti - 5 days ago -Follow
When are these Hindu BJP/RSS idiots realize that Ramayan and Mahabharat are just story books for entertainment purposes
Duck - Canada - 5 days ago -Follow
Modi, Yogi, Shah for sure are going to make India third class country with this kind of temple and cow politics. Can't belive our Prime Minister Modi Ji sitting in front row with big smile and supporting these scientists.
cabalco - 5 days ago -Follow
Yes sure, while your at it, make harry potter holy books of science and shaktimaan proof that stuff works. What a load of bs. One look at these guys and you can know they cannot spell science let alone understand it.
Sp - 5 days ago -Follow
the world is watching while you make a fool of India, you idiots... wonder when one of these morons will watch harry potter and claim that daniel radcliffe was a british god...
PACK MAN - 5 days ago -Follow
Time to kick out such idiots, who ruin the country and it's progress, already stressed cows are ruling the roads, hindering progress
Guru - Kerala - 5 days ago
It's not surprising, if a person can become PM of country by bad mouth without doing anything. Why should scientists work hard, talking nonsense without any proof is enough for the dumb bhakts.